Friday, 2 January 2015

The Not So Secret Origins of The Snot That Ate Port Harry

     Prior to the blast of posts just prior to Christmas I was pretty bad about keeping this blog up to date.  But to those of you paying attention to my other outlets you may have noticed that I'm working on a new animated movie.  Here's the poster...

     So just where the hell did such a stupid idea for a movie come from?  Snot?  Really?  Well I'll tell you.  The idea started just with a title.  Which was said as a joke.  And to hear that joke for the first time you'd have to go back to somewhere in the vicinity of the late 1980's or early 1990's to a much younger version of me.

     I grew up on movie dinners.  When my parents got a VCR a few years before I was born my dad would pretty much record every movie that came on TV.  We even had a video store that was only a five minute walk from the house, which lead to more movies to watch, more movies to record, and our library was growing all the time.  Videos, by the way kids, are black plastic rectangles that show motion pictures...VCR's are big clunky machines that play them.  Growing up I could also count on at least a couple movie dinners a week, a dinner that would be eaten on the couch, off the coffee table in front of a movie.  We watched all the stuff any kid born in 1984 would watch, Goonies, Gremlins, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Star Wars of course, the Christopher Reeves Superman, the Michael Keaton Batman.  And I may have watched Terminator and Robocop a little earlier than most kids would.  The guy that fell in the toxic waste?  He freaked me out.  But it wasn't just those movies.  I was introduced to Peter Sellers with the Pink Panther and the Party.  Abbott and Costello when they met Frankenstein and everybody else.  We watched Airplane, Vacation, Blazing Saddles, King Kong-the original one, Arsenic and Old Lace, Harvey, Topper, and any Ray Harryhausen movie that was on TV.  These were the gateway drugs that lead me to become a movie buff, and then eventually, clinically movie obsessed.  

     As a kid I learned pretty fast what meals would signal a night in front of a movie.  Pizza and tacos were the most common, sometimes their half bred cousin, Mexican pizza.  That's a tortilla lying flat with taco meat and cheese on top for those of you keeping score.  There were other movie meals too, and depending on the time of year a burger usually meant a movie as well.  Did I mention we watched a lot of movies?  So when I would notice one of said meals being prepared...or ordered...the question would invariable leave my mouth, "what movie are we watching?"  And the answer, on more than several occasions, would leave my dad's, "The Snot That Ate Port Moody."  

     The vision of what surely would have to be a giant wad of snot devouring a town was pretty funny to single digit aged me, and that imagery combined with the sheer frequency of the joke stuck to my brain like glue.  Years later, in 9th grade I even remember drawing a would be movie poster in my sketchbook for "The Snot that Ate Port Moody."  A drawing that I never actually finished cuz it wasn't living up the vision in my head(shoddy composition, questionable perspective).  

     Flash forward a bunch more years to 2008 when I'm working on an animated movie called, "The Case of the Midnight Murderer."  Midnight Murderer was a short story I had written years prior and on a whim I turned it into a script, which then snowballed into character designs and eventually a finished movie.  I was in the early stages of that project, a love letter to film-noir movies of the 40's when "The Snot That Ate Port Moody" came to mind again, only this time with a little better context.  As ridiculous of a title as "The Snot That Ate Port Moody" is, it would not have seemed so out of place in a drive-in back in the sci-fi monster craze that spilled out of the 1950's.  If I can do a 40's detective parody loaded with in jokes and references to old mystery movies than maybe "The Snot That Ate Port Harry" (I changed the name to a fictional town) could be done as a 50's B-movie parody.  I started writing notes and doodling sketches but my attention was still on Midnight Murderer.  I wasn't committed at the time to necessarily see Snot through to the end but when I saw the finished version of Midnight Murderer that kinda changed.  I have a hard time watching Midnight Murderer, my first feature length movie, without picking it apart.  There's nothing in it, not a stage of production that I wouldn't do at least a little bit differently on a second run.  My cavalier attitude during the development stages of that movie, to me, stand out.  In spite of all that though, I don't hate what I accomplished.  And with all that I learned making that movie, it seemed like a waste not to make another one.  So I'm chipping away now at "The Snot That Ate Port Harry."  A movie that started as nothing but a title, which started as nothing but a joke.

     Animation hasn't started on the movie yet but it'll happen soon.  For regular updates on the movie's progress, including work in progress pictures, concept art, behind the scenes videos and other cool stuff follow the movie on FACEBOOK, TUMBLR, and what the hell, might as well follow me on TWITTER too!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sex, Drugs and Candy Canes: The Santa Claus Story

My Graphic Novel is available digitally on Amazon!

I actually finished this at the start of the year, so I'd just missed Christmas 2013 and waited to put it out during this season.  Here's the official synopsis.

The true untold story of Santa Claus with all the sex, drugs, and violence Bing Crosby didn't want you to know about. 

In 1964 Kris Kringle is killed by the mob for welching on a gambling debt and it's up to his estranged nephew, Santa Claus, to take over the mantle as Christmas gift giver. Content to live out his life on a government pension and a cash settlement from a bus accident, Santa has no interest in such things. But when his wife, Sasha, accidentally kills a neighbour with some questionable baked goods, forcing them on the lam, the North Pole seems as good a place as any to hide out. Those living arrangements come with a price though and now Santa and Sasha have to race the clock as they search for the magic sack, conjure the elves and track down the reindeer, while staying alive and free against mobsters, yetis, the feds and a slew of other dangers. But was it really Sasha's baking that killed their neighbour? And if not, who or what did? 

  Here're the first 5 pages of it!

  The idea for the book snowballed(no pun intended) as many of my ideas do, out of a doodle.  I drew Santa with a sexy Mrs. Claus and some twisted evil looking elves trudging through the snow like 5 years ago or maybe even longer and for a couple of Christmases in a row revisited them with different drawings and eventually started writing down ideas for where the elves came from, why a sexy Mrs. Claus(her name's Sasha in the book) would interested in such a fat slob and started coming up with ideas for the reindeer and other elements of the mythology until eventually I had a pretty detailed outline for the plot.  The book is 116 pages long and is a fast, fun read.  You can get it at Amazon, HERE.  And hopefully through some other sites soon as well.  You can also get the cover art on tshirts and mugs and stuff at Society 6 and Red Bubble.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

More Combat Fairies!

Holy Shit Balls Batman!  Another blog entry in one day!  How could this be!  It be!  It be!  Just finished doing something and have a window of time before doing something else so I figured what the hell, lets keep "Project Get Blog Up To Date" going.  So now lets talk Combat Fairies!  If you look back a couple posts you'll see the first Combat Fairy.  At the time she didn't have a name, but now she does, it's Aela.  She needed a name because characters need names and they especially need names when they're gonna be sharing space with other characters.  So now I introduce...insert drum roll here...Enora!

But wait!  Aela and Enora aren't in this alone!  You also have to meet, Kiani!

But these three aren't in it alone either!  Well they are for now.  My plan ultimately is to have a team of 5 and maybe a sagely commander type character that wouldn't be in on all the action and fun.  The first one was just a doodle that went wild but as you may have have guessed, I'm planning more for these characters in the future.  After that first one I came up with what I think are some really cool ideas for a back story and some fun adventures to send them on that will be in comic book form.  It'll be a while yet before I get to actually making that comic though.  I'm preoccupied with a new film project at the moment (there'll be a post on that soon, it's one of the motivators to get the blog back up to date) but once that's done a Combat Fairy one shot will likely be the next order of business.  In the mean time though I'll continue to put up images like these of the other characters as the ideas come to me and as I have the time to do them without slowing my other stuff down too much.  And I'll be writing notes and honing the ideas I have for the characters.  Projects seem to work better when those ideas have time to incubate and grow.  That's all for now but if you like these characters they're all available as prints and tshirts and phone covers at both Society 6 and Red Bubble, check em out!  Might even be time to make a Christmas gift out of it!

Big Brother is Watching

It seems like every time I post on my blog I start by stating how regretful I am that I haven't been updating my blog often enough.  And as I start writing this entry it occurs to me that I haven't been updating my blog often enough.  Weird huh?  The reason for this is that I haven't been updating my blog often enough.  I'm not gonna spit out promises that this will change because despite my best efforts I can't promise I'll be able to up my post frequency.  The fact of the matter is I just forget and neglect really often.  I have Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Deviant Art...I'm a bit better about posting art work and random ramblings over there but on Blogger I like to write more stuff to go with my post...which then leads to procrastinating and ultimately forgetting.  So if you want to see regular, more constant stuff from me, follow me on any of those other places I mentioned but continue to follow me here because I will keep it going as best as I can.  In fact if you're reading this the day that I posted it...I might even post again tomorrow.  WHOA!

At the start of the summer I had some art in a local art gallery in Vancouver.  The gallery's called Hot Art Wet City.  The show was a tribute to movies from 1984.  The title of this post suddenly makes more sense now doesn't it?  No?  Well then google that shit and get back to me.

I don't very often submit art to gallery shows.  Mostly cuz I'm busy on other projects and by the time I hear about a show I might want to be involved in I don't have time to do anything for it.  The timing by sheer luck for this one worked out.  I heard about the show with lots of time to come up with something.  I'm a huge movie geek and I was born in '84 so it would've been almost sacrilegious to ignore this particular show.  Turns out all that time was actually maddening though.  I couldn't decide for the longest time what movie I wanted to reference.  The first movie that came to mind was Ghostbusters which has been among my favorites since I could talk, but the problem there was that it's the favorite of so many people I figured for sure there'd be tons of Ghostbuster entries.  I decided I wanted to do a mash up of a bunch of different movies of '84 but I couldn't come up with a design I was happy with.  I finally thought I had it and then stopped drawing when I hit the half way point...I just wasn't liking it.  I decided I was over thinking the whole thing and just did a Ghostbusters poster anyway.  Here it is.

Aaaand then I also did this Toxic Avenger one.  Largely cuz I thought it would be fun cuz I like drawing monsters and stuff but strangely don't do it that often.  The Toxic Avenger has a special place in my heart and yet I've never actually seen the movie.  There was a short lived Saturday morning cartoon based on the franchise called The Toxic Crusader.  Being a fan of the cartoon my dad suggested we rent the movie; he'd never seen it himself.  When we found it in the video store it had a special sticker on the cover warning of the graphic content of the movie.  Dad shrugged it off cuz I'd grown up on horror movies and wasn't easily shaken.  When we pressed play on the movie we were greeted by two...count em...two on screen warnings about the graphic content of the film.  I think my dad was starting to have second thoughts at this point but we still decided to stick it out.  That is until the first scene concluded with a pack of wild teenagers running over a little kid on his tricycle and then backing up over his head.  Evidently I looked a little freaked out and we stopped the movie.  In the years since growing up to the desensitized individual who's writing this I haven't come across the movie to watch it again.  But mark my day I will see this movie and its several sequels.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Combat Fairy

Here's another sketchbook doodle that turned into a fully coloured version.

I actually did both the sketch and the finished version right after Jungle Space Girl but I'm just now remembering to post it.  When I had the initial idea for it, it was going to be Tinkerbell.  She would've looked more or less the same though but with the name "Tinkerbell" written somewhere on it in cool lettering but as I drew it I thought why bother doing a bad ass version of Tinkerbell when I could make a bad ass version of a completely original fairy.  So here it is.

I never gave her a name but when I was drawing the the inked version I started getting ideas for other Combat Fairies so I'll be doing more.  I'll just draw them as I think of them among other things that will be keeping me busy.  I've actually already sketched out the next one I just haven't had a chance yet to do a clean version and colour it...but hopefully soon.  I've even got some ideas for a storyline as well so maybe when I've got a whole team of Combat Fairies I'll do a comic with the characters.  Nearly naked fairies fighting monsters and stuff...can't go wrong right?  I'll have to start naming them as I go too.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Jungle Space Girl

Still been a little slack about posting here, but I'm still trying to get better at that.

Here's Jungle Space Girl!

I love looking at comic art.  Especially since I got an ipad a couple years ago.  I'll sit on the couch, Google an artist I like or just heard about for the first time and flip through their work.  I also love looking at old sci-fi, horror, and crime comic art.  The covers for those old comics are particularly cool.  And pulp novel covers too.  Recurring themes you'll find in those old comics and novels is the Space Girl with the dome helmet or the Jungle Girl in an animal skin bikini.  I thought it'd be fun to do a mash up of the two, so I drew this on the bus.

Then I drew it bigger, better, cleaner and coloured it.

If you like this I've actually got a store at Society 6 now where you can buy prints of it and some of my other stuff.  You can get t-shirts and hoodies, mugs, clocks, iphone cases and even pillows.  Check it out here if you're interested.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

Another 12 months.  Another 52 weeks.  Another 365 days.  Another year.  Happy 2014 everybody.  I've been really, really, really, really, really...sorry had to take a breath...really, really, really, really bad about updating my blog these last few months, if not the whole year.  I have been drawing though!  I promise that much.

I've been keeping pretty busy.  Did a few animated commissions for a webseries called Beverly Hoodz, check them out here if you want.  I'm tapped to animate a few more from that series too, so keep your eyes open for that.

I'm also teaching more at Vancouver Film School.  I'd already been teaching two levels of Flash for about a year and a half but in July I took on some more classes.  Now I also teach Classical Animation, Storyboarding and Comic Book Production.  That's been a lot of fun and you'd be amazed how much I love putting together power point presentations for lectures and gathering film clips for examples.  I'm a movie/cartoon/comic nerd after all.   In addition to all that my free time has been largely eaten up by my graphic novel.  Did I mention I'm doing a graphic novel?  Oh ya, I'm doing a graphic novel.  Check out some in progress shots of it on my Facebook page, here.  While you're at it, like my Facebook page too if you haven't already.  And hey, if you're on Twitter follow me there too, I post in progress pictures there quite often.  The graphic novel is almost done now but it took a lot longer than anticipated.  Started it in June and thought I'd be finished, colour and all, by the fall.  That turned out to be a pipe dream.  I was using how fast I draw Cowman comics as my guideline to estimate my timing but the truth is this novel gets a lot more elaborate in a lot of ways and I can't pump the pages out as fast as Cowman.  I'm not sure yet if I'll be getting a real publisher or if I'll be putting it out in some form myself but the story is semi-seasonal so it'll be a while before it's made available no matter how I go about it.  I will put out some official finished images to wet your whistle when it's all done though.
Hmm...what's next?  Here're some random drawings from the last few months.
Drew this after watching Mel Brooks get a Life Time Achievement Award.

Drew this on the bus, just cuz...

Another bus drawing.

Didn't draw this on the bus cuz I didn't have enough time left that day.  But I did see this woman while I was on the bus, picture her bobbing up and down to the music on her boom box.
Doing more random drawings is my only real New Years resolution.  It might not be an easy one cuz I am planning on diving into another ambitious project this year but I'll definitely be making an effort.  Speaking of ambitious projects.  Remember Pork Cops?  I posted about it a while back.  I finished it earlier in 2013 but set it aside so I could come back with fresh eyes and recut it to make it move a little faster.  Also might've made some changes to the sound mix cuz there are one or two questionable sound effects.  Long story short my computer died and I lost all my original working files so I couldn't edit it like I wanted.  So instead I just posted it as is on youtube.  In hindsight I'm actually still pretty happy with it but I definitely would've made some adjustments given the opportunity.  Check it out here!  Right here.  Now at this very spot!

One last thing.  Cowman is still going with new comics every Tuesday and Thursday.  In fact I just finished an epic story arc called "The Foolery Saga."  Here's the promo.

Cowman is now also on Tumblr too.  I'm playing catch up over there now so I'm posting daily until it catches up to it's current run and then it'll update Tuesdays and Thursdays just like Blogger.  I took a hiatus though for the holidays so I'll start posting daily again on January 6th with Cowman #187.  You astute individuals may notice that that is the first Cowman listed on the above promo for the Foolery Saga.  In other words if you want to check that out then heading on over to Cowman's Tumblr page and subscribing might be a damn good idea.  Or if not go to his Blogger page and get caught up there.

So that's it for me for now, and didn't even really cover everything.  I'll try to update more often again so I don't have to write a novel for my next update just to cover it all.  Later guys.